Mar 13, 2009

Activists launch Global Campaign to Release All Political Prisoners in Burma; RP Envoy to the ASEAN asked to engage Burma rulers

Responding to the global campaign calling for the release of all political prisoners in Burma, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and to mark Burma's Human Rights Day, activists from Free Burma Coalition-Philippines today held a rally in front of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office in Pasay city.

The group unfurled a “huge tarpaulin” containing faces of thousands of Filipino supporters from various parts of the country demanding the release of all political prisoners in Burma.

FBC-Philippines with the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) jointly organized a project called “8.888 Faces” photo petition which will be part of the global petition of 888,888 signatures for submission to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

“The plight of Burma’s political prisoners merits the attention of the world especially those in power. This campaign symbolizes our support to the peoples of Burma for their unrelenting struggle for genuine democracy and human rights, “ Egoy Bans, spokesperson of FBC-Phils said.

FBC-Philippines as a sign of “pabaon” (send off message) to former Senator Orly S. Mercado, the newly appointed Permanent Representative to the ASEAN, delivered a letter to the DFA containing the group's petition to the Philippine government to continuously engage ASEAN to effect democratic reforms in Burma and exert more pressures to Rangoon generals for the release of political prisoners including NLD leader and Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The group pointed out that the release of all of Burma’s political prisoners is a crucial step in creating an atmosphere conducive to the process of genuine national reconciliation in Burma and ASEAN in this regard has an important role to play.

“We urge former senator Mercado to put among his priorities the issue of Burma when he assumed office. Mercado's slogan of “Kapwa Ko Mahal Ko” must now be translated to his future work in the ASEAN. We would like to hear envoy Mercado say that ASEAN must do something about Burma situation,” Bans explained.

Thailand based groups like the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners (Burma) (AAPP), Burma Partnership, and Forum for Democracy in Burma (FDB) are simultaneously launching today the Free Burma’s Political Prisoners Now! campaign with the support of various advocacy groups in the region including the Free Burma Coalition-Philippines.

Schedules of solidarity actions and other activities in the region and other parts of the world as part of this global campaign to free all political prisoners in Burma:

1.) THAILAND: Press Conference at Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, Bangkok (Friday Mar 13 @ 10 am) 2.) JAPAN: March 13 (Tokyo) 2pm: Demonstration in Gotanda organized by the Joint Action Committee of Burmese Community in Japan (JAC) 3.) INDIA: Signature Collection Campaign for 888,888
4.) AUSTRALIA: Burma Campaign Australia- Will be launched in Sydney with NSW parliamentarians and to get support from the unions to assist with collecting signatures.5.) KOREA: Signature collection for 888,888


Krishna said...

Last time when Cyclone Nargis hit Burma (Myanmar), even American ships carrying relief materials were not allowed to unload them and send relief workers including doctors. It took weeks for international community to convince the military rulers the need for external relief. The only countries that can pressurize the Military rulers and make them act in favour of democracy and releasing prisoners are China and USA. But they are not interested as they have their own interests there.